Find That Film: Runaway

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We were discussing the merits of Michael Crichton movies when ManWithPez found out I had missed Runaway (1984). We made it episode three of season five because we were both impressed with the ‘not too distant future’ featured in he film.

In the very near future of 1991, menial robots are fully integrated into our lives. The robots aren’t faultless and occasionally cause unintended harm. To combat those situations, a police task force handles dangerously malfunctioning robots. Suddenly the robots are killing and the police need to figure out why. The too-pretty-for-words police force consists of Tom Selleck, Cynthia Rhodes, and Stan Shaw. Their investigations lead them to evil Doctor Luther, Gene Simmons, and abused Jackie, Kirstie Alley.

As with many Crichton properties, there is a kernel of truth and prescience within the story. The future is real. Many of the technological advances portrayed have been realized. This time there is no heavy handed message about consciousness, nature, or hubris of man. Runaway stays true to the good cop versus madman trope and delivers.

Stan Shaw is underused. Gene Simmons terrifies with a look. Cynthia Rhodes shows great promise in several scenes. Tom Selleck successfully plays an average cop with normal problems. The character is not nearly brash or quirky enough to deserve Selleck’s marquee; everyman he is not.

In a time of dinosaur and sentient robot theme parks, check out one of Crichton’s less bloody tales. Be impressed with his remarkable ability to know what technology to mix into his stories. Find that film Runaway.

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